The origin of the name “Xaraés”
A trip back in time
A lot of people think that the “Pantanal” was once an inland sea. This is because it is a very flat low lying region with numerous salty lakes. In times past when the first explorations were made in the middle of the XVIth century, it was believed that it was an immense fresh water lake, which the German historian Schmidel named in 1555, the lake of Xaraés, referring to an indigenous indian tribe, now extinct, that inhabited the area. This name continued to be used, even after it was found that it was not a lake, but a plain that was subjected to periodic floodings. It was only in the early 1900‘s that this area became known as the Pantanal, which again is inappropriate as it is not a permanently flooded area, and even less a swamp, as the name suggests.
340 kms from Campo Grande, the capital of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the lodge, “Pousada do Xaraés” is situated in one of the most beautiful geographic regions of the Pantanal, the Abobral Pantanal, washed by the river Abobral. The lodge is part of a commercial cattle ranch carrying about 2000 head in a total area of 4.200 Has. It was previously called “hotel fazenda Xaraés” (farm hotel), open to tourists from 1991 to 2000 and was owned by local businessmen. In 2001 it was purchased by Portuguese businessmen and the name was changed to “Pousada do Xaraés” (the Xaraés lodge), and the previous infrastructure was totally remodeled and amplified giving it excellent conditons of both comfort and quality. The lodge now has the capacity to receive 46 guests in its facilities which include an all purpose multimedia event room, dining room, sitting room with fire place, games area , Kiosk for barbecues and a wood firedstove, swimming pool, tenis court, etc.
The lodge’s 17 apartments are distributed among three buildings, all of which are but a few meters from the Abobral river. From these trees you can hear the marvelous songs of the Pantanal birds or the thrilling roar ofthe monkeys, which, in the early morning, come to the trees on the banks of the river. All the apartments have private bathrooms, air conditioning, fridge bar, with rustic decoration and a welcoming atmosphere. In each set of rooms, there is a veranda with fans and hammocks providing an alternative resting area. Of the 17 apartments, 7 are doubles, 7 are triples and 3 are quadruples, with a total of 47 beds.
The restaurant dining room, which overlooks the gardens from whose trees the nesting birds can be heard all day, is equiped with fans and air conditioning and decorated in the rustic style that is characteristic of the whole guest-house. Delicious food, typical of the Pantanal, is served in a buffet system while being kept hot on a woodfired stove. The room also has restrooms for both men and women.
The sitting room, in the same rustic style as the rest of the lodge, is surrounded by the garden, and has various areas for chatting, reading, table games, snooker, television and bar, where you can sample delicious drinks served there. On the bar’s varanda, a few meters from the river, there is a beautiful view of the Pantanal, with its characteristic sounds and scents, and also the swimming pool.
You can also participate in the following activities: horse riding, trips by boat canoe, photographic safaris in a 4X4 pick-up, ecological trailing and, after dark, spot lighting of nocturnal fauna, always acompannied by bilingual guides and/ or local guides.